American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes


ACS THRIVE (Transforming Health care Resources to Increase Value and Efficiency)

Our health system must evolve if we are going to achieve our nation’s goals of expanding access to care and providing innovative new treatments to all patients. Now is the time to address our greatest challenges—quality, cost, and interoperability—and shape our health system into the model we all want and our patients deserve.

On July 18, 2019, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and Harvard Business School’s (HBS) Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness announced ACS THRIVE (Transforming Health care Resources to Increase Value and Efficiency), a new program to help hospitals and surgical practices improve surgical patient outcomes while lowering the cost of delivering care. Initially, leaders of the program will pilot the value measurement process with 10–15 hospitals in the United States, focusing on measuring the full cycle of care–including its key surgical, medical, behavioral, and social elements–for three surgical conditions. Results from the pilot will be used to create a scalable approach that all hospitals can use to measure and improve value.

Read the news announcement.

Care cycles for colon cancer surgery and bariatric surgery processes have been mapped completely. Collaboration at pilot sites across the U.S. is ongoing and new sites continue to commit to engage and participate in a virtual environment.

THRIVE is an innovative program that could have far-reaching impact on measuring and improving value. We welcome your organization’s participation. Please contact Anupam Dayal if you’d like to be a foundational member of THRIVE:

Anupam Dayal
Senior Project Manager
American College of Surgeons


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Meet the Leaders of ACS THRIVE

David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, ACS Executive Director

Dr. Hoyt received a bachelor’s degree with honors from Amherst College, followed by a Doctor of Medicine degree from Case Western Reserve University. In 2010, Dr. Hoyt was appointed Executive Director of the American College of Surgeons. He remains Emeritus Professor of Surgery at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Hoyt is a member of the American Surgical Association, Surgical Biology Club, Western Surgical Association, and Society of University Surgeons, among other surgical organizations. He has been a visiting professor at numerous institutions nationally and internationally and is an editorial board member of six journals. Dr. Hoyt consistently received significant public research funding and continues to do so.

Robert S. Kaplan, MS, PhD, senior fellow and Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development, emeritus, HBS

As a senior fellow and Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development, emeritus at the Harvard Business School, Robert is co-developer of both activity-based costing (ABC) and the Balanced Scorecard (BSC). Kaplan joined the HBS faculty in 1984. Kaplan's research, executive program teaching, and consulting focus on aligning cost and performance management systems to strategy execution. He currently works with Michael Porter on the HBS Value Based Health Care initiative to introduce time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) and value-based bundled payments to health care. The goal is to motivate the health care sector to restructure around delivering superior patient outcomes at significantly lower total cost.

Clifford Y. Ko, MD, MS, MSHS, FACS, FASCRS, Director, ACS Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care, and professor of surgery and health services, UCLA

Dr. Ko received his bachelor’s (biology), master’s (biological/medical ethics), and Doctor of Medicine degrees from the University of Chicago. He also received a Master of Science Degree (health services/outcomes research) from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Ko is the Director of the Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care at the American College of Surgeons, where he oversees the College’s quality improvement programs. Dr. Ko’s work primarily focuses on surgical quality of care, including quality measurement, process improvement, value-based care, and achieving high reliability in surgical care. Clinically, Dr. Ko is a double board-certified surgeon with a practice currently focusing on patients with colorectal cancer. At UCLA, he is the Robert and Kelly Day Professor of Surgery. He is also Professor of Health Services at the UCLA School of Public Health.

Bruce Hall, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS, vice president and chief quality officer, BJC HealthCare, and Consulting Director, ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program

Dr. Hall received a bachelor’s degree in biochemical sciences from Princeton University and Doctorate in microbiology/immunology from Duke University. He received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration. Dr. Hall’s areas of expertise include performance measurement and quality improvement. He has been a director of the American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program for more than 12 years. He is vice president and chief quality officer for BJC HealthCare and leads the Clinical Advisory Group for the BJC Center for Clinical Excellence. He serves as a general surgeon and assistant professor of surgery at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

Frank G. Opelka, MD, FACS, Medical Director, ACS Quality and Health Policy

Dr. Opelka is a physician executive, surgeon, and Medical Director for Quality and Health Policy at the American College of Surgeons. He has focused his efforts on alternative payment models, interoperability solutions, graduate medical education, work force, and surgeon burnout (emotional well-being). Dr. Opelka serves on several national initiatives for health care reform including the Health Care Learning and Action Network and the Surgical Quality Alliance. Dr. Opelka is the founder and chair of the Surgical Quality Alliance. He serves as an advisor to several organizations for quality, payment reform, and digital health information solutions in support of advancing clinical registries for machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Mary L. Witkowski, MD, MBA, fellow, Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, HBS

Dr. Witkowski received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, and a Doctor of Medicine degree from Harvard Medical School. She is a fellow at the Harvard Business School working at the Institute for Strategy & Competitiveness on value-based health care. Her work focuses on research on value-based payments, including the design and implementation of bundled payments in condition-based specialty care as well as primary care. She also is interested in the role and opportunity of employers and government payors to help drive health care forward toward value. Dr. Witkowski is an instructor in the HBS Executive Education program in value-based health care.